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Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Old Mar 4th 2021, 12:48 pm
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Default Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Hi

We are starting fairly early with research, as I am 47, but our hope is one day to have a home in UK and a home in Orlando.

I am joining a few forums in hope of stumbling on people who have already done that so I can ask some questions, so if anyone here is in that situation and they happy to answer some questions, please shove a reply on here.

Cheers
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Hi, welcome to BE.

There are previous threads that may be useful as as starting point so worth having a search for those.

This one isn't FL specific, but lots of useful info - https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-...me-usa-901131/

Good luck.

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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Thank you for that Christmasoompa, I will definitely look through that.

However, in an ideal world I'm hoping to find someone in the Orlando area who rents their place out part of the year, so I can work out some details.

I know at this stage I am going to need to be retired to have any hope of getting the B2 visa which seems to allow up to six months access. We've started documenting floor plans of houses we like, so when the time comes we'll have options to go to realtors with, along with venues we already know of.

There are the costs of a pool and AC, general bills etc in Orlando, but because of it's themepark location, we'd be looking to talk with people who have experience of that whole situation, how they find bookings, do they use agents to do that and if so who.

Thanks once again

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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Thank you for that Christmasoompa, I will definitely look through that.

However, in an ideal world I'm hoping to find someone in the Orlando area who rents their place out part of the year, so I can work out some details.

I know at this stage I am going to need to be retired to have any hope of getting the B2 visa which seems to allow up to six months access. We've started documenting floor plans of houses we like, so when the time comes we'll have options to go to realtors with, along with venues we already know of.

There are the costs of a pool and AC, general bills etc in Orlando, but because of it's themepark location, we'd be looking to talk with people who have experience of that whole situation, how they find bookings, do they use agents to do that and if so who.

Thanks once again
Lots of threads about second homes in FL if you want to have a hunt. General consensus though is that it's not even going to cover it's costs and would be a lot of stress/hassle. And as the owner of a house in Cornwall that is a holiday let, I would agree with that - it's bad enough having one in the same country, the hassle factor would multiply if it was the other side of the Atlantic!

Is your primary reason for buying somewhere for you to go, or as an investment?
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

We love Florida and have been lucky to have been on holiday there many times. The aim is to downsize here and have a place here and a place there, with rental being a way of steadily clawing some money back. Not suggesting it is to make a profit, just help along the way.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Lots of threads about second homes in FL if you want to have a hunt. General consensus though is that it's not even going to cover it's costs and would be a lot of stress/hassle. And as the owner of a house in Cornwall that is a holiday let, I would agree with that - it's bad enough having one in the same country, the hassle factor would multiply if it was the other side of the Atlantic!

Is your primary reason for buying somewhere for you to go, or as an investment?
We had homes in the UK and Canada while living in the US. As well as the extra expense ie 2 cars, year round utility bills, gardening, pool service, exterminator services, someone to keep an eye on the property when you are not there etc etc etc...US houses require a hell of a lot of maintenance vs UK houses. Houses tend to need reroofing every every 20 years or so, AC/heating units last maybe 15/20 years. The houses are made of wood...think termites and carpenter ants. I haven’t even touched on hurricanes.

Edit: As for renting the property out...there is no way I would want that headache.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Mar 4th 2021 at 1:30 pm.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Thanks Jerseygirl

We are very mindful of the things you have stated, and should we buy out there I'd want dates of when the AC was put in and serviced etc, plus we'd look at the HOA fees. It'll all be factored into anything we do. There are a number of options we can explore, where it's a house we need/don't need rent on, or a condo/Flat, where we'd have no pool maintinace feee etc, but maybe higher HOAs.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Thanks Jerseygirl

We are very mindful of the things you have stated, and should we buy out there I'd want dates of when the AC was put in and serviced etc, plus we'd look at the HOA fees. It'll all be factored into anything we do. There are a number of options we can explore, where it's a house we need/don't need rent on, or a condo/Flat, where we'd have no pool maintinace feee etc, but maybe higher HOAs.
Be careful with HOAs with regard to condos. If the fees are low it means they will not have enough money in the coffers for major repairs. If that is the case the cost will be shared amongst the owners...it could be extremely expensive. Some condos will not allow short term rentals...because the owners do not want holidaymakers staying there and I don’t blame them. My neighbour sold their condo in Florida a year ago...they were glad to get rid of it.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

I haven't looked fully into that side of things yet but I always presume HOA fees will be higher for condos as you are basically taking on less, it's the way of the world generally to want more for less isn't it?
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

It's cheaper and less stressful to rent a house part of the year.
If you're lucky you will find some other poor sap who has bought a house in Orlando and is struggling to rent it out part time.
The costs to purchase and maintain are something rarely budgeted for. Don't even get me started on HoA fees, A couple of years back we were dropped with a $10,000 bill. Shortly followed up by a further $5000 bill for overages.

Stop looking at floor plans, it will only make you want to buy one.
Take a look for short term rentals and let the owner take the stress and expense.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Hi Excpomea

Are you a Floridian ?

Also, how did you get stung with a big HOA fee, are they not set in stone from the outset?
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Hi Excpomea

Are you a Floridian ?

Also, how did you get stung with a big HOA fee, are they not set in stone from the outset?
We are in Toronto, Canada right now. Here the condo management have to have a certain amount in reserve to cover major maintenance costs. The reserve required is usually in the millions, I am talking high rise buildings with many units. I think the UK and US are different, this may vary from state to state. Smaller monthly fees usually mean if major repairs are required you have to pay your share of the cost. If not you will be sued. Also not all condo management companies are equal...IMO you should check them out, making sure you know what reserve amount is.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Mar 4th 2021 at 2:54 pm.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
We had homes in the UK and Canada while living in the US. As well as the extra expense ie 2 cars, year round utility bills, gardening, pool service, exterminator services, someone to keep an eye on the property when you are not there etc etc etc...US houses require a hell of a lot of maintenance vs UK houses. Houses tend to need reroofing every every 20 years or so, AC/heating units last maybe 15/20 years. The houses are made of wood...think termites and carpenter ants. I haven’t even touched on hurricanes.

Edit: As for renting the property out...there is no way I would want that headache.
Good points. During the Celtic Tiger owning a holiday home in Florida and specifically Orlando was popular here, but the 3 people I know have all sold and say it was just too much maintenance.
One also mentioned that when the kids got older, Disney World was no longer interesting and they now do their own thing. Add in the travel costs and the limited time you can spend there and it's not as cheap as it looks.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

I can't talk from experience of being an owner, but did used to know someone who had a Florida home while living in the UK and also visit quite regularly while using short term villa rentals.

Certainly the experiences being shared around maintenance are critical - I seem to remember our family fried used a local management company, essentially outsourcing the day to day to them when they were not staying.

Location and type of property are going to be key, balanced with cost of ownership. You've visited plenty of times, so probably are well aware, that the variation in housing stock is pretty significant within short distances, specifically talking Orlando/Kissimmee/Davenport here.

We started looking recently, just researching, using our experience of staying there a fair bit. There are a number of newer 'gated' style holiday communities at the far West end of the 192 that have sprung up in recent years and we've used Emerald Island a number of times (Four Corners) - these tend to pretty busy, which bodes well for rental opportunity and covering some of the cost, but are more expensive and come with hefty HOA fees. In the case of Emerald Island that fee covers grounds, broadband, waste management and TV. You still have to factor in the property maintenance and utilities. The Property Tax is significant as well.

Nearly every time we have stayed here, the villa has been held via some form of Management company, even if that is the owner direct running a company themselves with multiple properties.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

I see you mention you're 47 years old as that was my age 18 years ago when I decided I wanted to live in Florida. Ok it was easier for me as I'm a dual national so no visas needed. I'm now in my mid 60s and just receiving my first government senior retirement payments. I'm close to the theme parks in the Orlando area and really thinking it's time to move on! The area roads have got more congested and driving much more aggressive on a daily basis.(I take my partner to her theme park job at 6am and at times it's manic!). As I said, I arrived 18 years ago in a new build sub division of close on 300 homes and back then I guess more than a third were bought by British folk as vacation rental 2nd homes. I built up a small business caretaking a dozen or so, all through recommendations. Now I would say there's only a handful of British owners left. Area is a very transient mix of short term, long term renters and buyers who in my opinion, appear to be mostly from the Hispanic communities.
Hope this is of some interest and good luck but be diligent as to which area you choose to purchase in.
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